By James Kirkup
Electronic details of the new security system protecting Parliament have
been lost, sparking a Commons security alert.
The Daily Telegraph understands that a laptop containing sensitive
information about the new Westminster access system disappeared last
The computer belonged to a senior parliamentary official believed to
work in the Serjeant at Arms department responsible for the security of
MPs and the Palace of Westminster.
Compounding the embarrassment of the security officials, the laptop is
said to have been stolen within the parliamentary estate.
"It is password protected, but there is stuff on there about access
control, so it is sensitive," said a parliamentary official. "It is not
the sort of stuff you want floating around out there."
A spokesman for the House of Commons declined to comment on the missing
laptop, insisting that the parliamentary authorities never discussed
Security at Parliament has been radically stepped up since two groups -
Fathers 4 Justice and pro-hunting campaigners - breached Commons
security in 2004.
Security officials say the greatest fears surround the possibility that
terrorists could obtain a Westminster security pass and gain access to
some of the most sensitive locations in the UK.
From the New Year, a new, enhanced security pass system is being
introduced that is meant to render a stolen pass useless.
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